Nursing 441

NURS 441: Gerontologic Nursing – Post-licensure Track

Prerequisites: admission to the post-licensure, RN-to-BSN program

Credit hours: (classroom and clinical): 3 hours lecture

Focuses on the aging process to include biological, sociological, psychological, and spiritual components with clinical applications in the provision of care to older adult clients in a variety of settings, such as the community, assisted living facilities, acute care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities.

Detailed Description of Course

This course focuses on gaining knowledge about healthy aging and includes biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual aspects of aging. 
The objectives and content of this course are derived from the School of Nursing’s philosophy and conceptual framework and facilitate achievement of the School’s program objectives, as well as the essentials of Baccalaureate Education (AACN), additionally, the essentials for Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice are conceptualized to include the care of older adults. Current research and advances in theory and clinical practice also determine content.

Topic Outline

    1) Foundations of Gerontological Nursing
        a. Introduction to Gerontological Nursing
        b. The Aging Population
        c. Theories of Aging
    2) Communication and Assessment
        a. Therapeutic Communication with Older Adults, Families, Caregivers
        b. Teaching Older Adults and Their Families
        c. Comprehensive Assessment of the Older Adult
    3) Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, and Disease Prevention
        a. Promoting Healthy Aging
        b. Identifying and Preventing Common Risk Factors in the Elderly
    4) Illness and Disease Management
        a. Management of Common Illnesses, Diseases, and Health Conditions
        b. Nursing Management of Dementia
    5) Management of Geriatric Syndromes
        a. Polypharmacy
        b. Falls in the Older Adult
        c. Delirium
        d. Anxiety and Depression in the Older Adult
        e. Urinary Incontinence
        f. Sleep Disorders
        g. Dysphagia and Malnutrition
        h. Pressure Ulcers
    6) Leadership and Responsibility
        a. The Gerontological Nurse as Manager and Leader
        b. Ethical/Legal Principles and Issues
    7) Gerontological Care Issues
        a. Culture and Spirituality
        b. Sexuality
        c. Abuse and Mistreatment of Older Adults
        d. Alternative Health Modalities
        e. Caring Across the Continuum
        f. End-of-Life Care
        g. Global Models of Health Care
        h. Using Current System Models to Guide Care

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The following teaching strategies may be employed:  online content overview, online discussions, multimedia, DVDs, case studies, podcasts, clinical group in-class projects, case studies, reflective journal entries, community service projects, and clinical practice. All strategies designated are required.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
    1) Integrate the knowledge and methods of a variety of disciplines to informed decision making in the care of the older adult.
    2) Implement evidence-based nursing interventions as appropriate for managing the acute and chronic care of older adults, promoting healthy
        aging, and advocating for high quality and safe patient care.
    3) Integrate evidence based research findings, clinical judgment, interprofessional perspectives, and patient preferences in planning,
       implementing, and evaluating outcomes in the care of the older adult.
    4) Apply patient care technologies as appropriate to address the needs of a diverse older adult population.
    5) Utilize an ethical framework to evaluate the impact of social policies on health care, especially for vulnerable populations, such as older adults.
    6) Contribute the unique nursing perspective to interprofessional teams to optimize outcomes of older adults, their families and aggregates and
       advocates for high quality and safe patient care.    
    7) Utilize scientific principles of nursing knowledge in increasingly complex situations when providing multidimensional care to older adults, their
       families and their aggregates.
    8) Demonstrate increasing skill in applying frameworks for ethical decision making and advocates for high quality and safe care for the older
    9) Promote the image of gerontological nursing by modeling values and articulating the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the nursing
    10) Outline and how to conduct comprehensive and focused assessments of health and illness parameters in older adults using developmentally and culturally
       appropriate approaches and standardized assessment instruments.
    11) Manage care to maximize health, independence, and quality of life for older adults in all care settings.
    12) Integrate knowledge to identify, report, refer, and manage elder abuse and exploitation.

Assessment Measures

Exams, Quizzes
Project: Individual or Group
Oral Presentations
Class Participation

The course grade is determined by an evaluation of the degree to which the student meets the stated course objectives in theory. Students must earn a minimum of 80% (“C”) grade to pass.

Final grades are a combination of at least 80% (“C”) on both theory and clinical/lab components. Clinical/lab performance must be satisfactory to pass the course.

Other Course Information

Honor Code: By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. Radford University’s Honor Pledge states:

I shall uphold the values and ideals of Radford University by engaging in responsible behavior and striving always to be accountable for my actions while holding myself and others to the highest moral and ethical standards of academic integrity and good citizenship as defined in the Standards of Student Conduct.

Students with Disabilities: If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act, you are required to register with the Disability Resource Office (DRO). The DRO is located in Room 32, Tyler Hall, telephone 540-831-6350. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DRO forms and meet with the course faculty no later than the 2nd week of the semester.

Attendance: For attendance policies and other course-related requirements, see School of Nursing Undergraduate Student Handbook and Course Description.

Review and Approval

March 1, 2018
September 22, 2016
April 23, 2014
February 2011, Kim Carter, Director
April 2006, Undergraduate Curriculum Marcella Griggs, Review Director